Beaver collectors score new finds

In a recent Pence-Cents Study Group Newsletter, published in March, editor Jim Jung and member Mike Smith reported finding three-penny and five-cent beaver stamp varieties, respectively.

Smith’s finding on the Province of Canada’s 1859 five-cent beaver (Scott #15) is “rare and elusive and all the things” a collector of that stamp “wished they had,” reads the newsletter. Off-centred and heavily cancelled, the stamp has its “scale of desire overridden” with a plate flaw originally catalogued by Canadian collector Clayton Huff.

“Closeups of the stamp show a scratch in the central left frameline area below the C of CANADA and in the right frameline area through the E of POSTAGE. There is also a mark outside the right frameline.”

In 2013, Smith famously found another rarity – the third known two-cent Large Queen on laid paper (SC #32) – in an American Philatelic Society stockbook, where it was described as the common wove paper variety. Smith had the stamp expertized by the Toronto-based Vincent Graves Greene Philatelic Research Foundation, which deemed it genuine.

“Enjoy the hobby the way it suits you and perhaps someday you will be lucky enough to make a fantastic find like this one for me,” Smith told CSN after his discovery eight years ago. “Remember, a knowledgeable collector has an edge on one who is not.”

Collector Jim Jung calls the ‘rather obvious mark’ above the beaver’s head the ‘Tin Hat’ variety. Photo courtesy of Jim Jung.


Jung also recently rediscovered a three-pence beaver (SC #1) he had owned for several years.

After posting an image on Facebook showing different stamps with four-ring postmarks, “friends piped up and pointed out the rather obvious mark on top of the beaver’s head,” he said, adding he has dubbed it the “Tin Hat” variety. There’s also a “heavy horizontal line” in the V of VR and a large mark of ink above the V over the lower-left part of the crown.

While he called it an “interesting oddity,” Jung said it could also be a “one-of-a-kind error” and asked for further information on these marks or another example showing these marks.

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